After yet another disappointing season since the 2006 Chicago Bears' championship run, the staff in Halas Hall has made crucial decisions in terms of the future for the Bears.
A near house-cleaning has been in effect, as virtually all the coaches have lost their respective jobs. The only three remaining coaches are head coach Lovie Smith, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli and the now-offensive coordinator Mike Tice. Whether or not the trio should have been cut remains to be known.
Regardless of the past, the Bears faithful has been awarded their wish: Former GM Jerry Angelo has been shown the door.
Now, the future of Chicago is in the hands of the McCaskey family and Ted Phillips.
With interviews lined up for Phil Emery, Jason Licht, Jimmy Raye and Marc Ross, we'll soon see the face of a new front office.
For the time being, however, Chicago faces the tough decisions of which players stay, go and come. There's plenty of talent in the upcoming draft and free agency to choose from.
The Matt Forte speculation is well known among the NFL, as the young Forte is unhappy with the current contract situation. It seemed to have rubbed off on players like Kellen Davis, and even members of the coaching staff.
At the end of the year, Davis was noted for taking shots at former offensive coordinator Mike Martz, as did Lovie. From an organizational standpoint, despite personal feelings towards teammates and peers, you keep your mouth shut. The Bears have maintained a good job of that throughout the years, and it doesn't need to start.
That being said, Forte is usually an even-keeled player who doesn't talk. It doesn't need to become a trend for the Monsters of the Midway.
And for the welfare of the Bears, maybe it's time to move on without Forte.
Matt Forte retains tremendous value, being a superstar running back who's only 26 years young and coming off his first Pro Bowl season. Slapping the franchise tag on him seems imminent for whoever steps in for Angelo, which may be good.
Once signed, trade Forte for a few picks. There's no disagreeing with the fact that Forte is an insanely integral piece of Tice's offense, but he can be better served elsewhere.
Another team's acquisition of Forte will prove positive for the Bears, gaining some breathing room for the right decisions in the drafts to rebuild an ever-aging defense.
To make-up for the loss of Forte, re-signing Marion Barber and Kahlil Bell is a must.
Despite costly mistakes, Marion Barber has ran his heart out since entering Chicago. He's a truly hard runner.
Kahlil Bell is another young running back who can duplicate Matt Forte in a third down role. Bell catches well out of the backfield and has the ability to use his strength and elusiveness against defenders.
For the feature back, Lamar Miller out of the University of Miami could be an option if he drops to the second round or by use of a pick from the Forte trade. If not, a back in 2013 should be drafted. The bootlegs and play action that Tice will utilize for QB Jay Cutler's sake will loosen the trenches up.
In the offense's standpoint, the receiving corp remains a question.
Free agency could hold the answer, but it's unlikely that Vincent Jackson or Marques Colston will leave their teams. Brandon Marshall, though, may be up for grabs.
Marshall, 27, has exchanged words that express a want for reunion with Cutler. The Bears franchise centerpiece himself has said that trading a couple third-rounders for Marshall is a "no brainer".
Luckily for the Bears, they gained an extra third-round pick through the highly criticized Greg Olsen trade. If Cutler can convince the future GM to trade for his old buddy, which is entirely possible, the Bears will be square at wide receiver.
Also, using this year's draft pick on WR Michael Floyd out of Notre Dame could mean an undoubtedly flip of projection for the 2012 Chicago Bears receiver squad.
An offensive lineman, however, should be considered for the upcoming draft.
Mike Adams, an offensive tackle from Ohio State, should still be on the board for the 19th overall pick the Bears possess. The Bears could also draft for a future center/present guard like the 6'5" Peter Konz if the office believes that's what's best.
With this plan in effect, the Chicago Bears could make some noise in 2012 with the older defense they have. The extra picks in future drafts will assist in rebuilding a prolific defense while the offense fires on all cylinders, barring injury.
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